Mar 092018

Reykjavik wall art


The second night of the third and final installment of Oration Festival took place at the Húrra bar in Reykjavik, Iceland on the night of March 8, 2018. It proved to be just as thoroughly enjoyable as the first night (reviewed here), although the music took more deathly turns, and ultimately concluded in a marvelously bewildering and beguiling way.

Last night the bands who performed, in the following order, were these: Mannveira (Iceland), Devouring Star (Finland), Abominor (Iceland), Abyssal (UK), Slidhr (Ireland/Iceland), Sortilegia (Canada), and Virus (Norway).

As before, the group of friends from Seattle and elsewhere who’ve been sharing this experience with me convened for food and drink about two hours before the first band was scheduled to begin the night. Yes, two hours, because our group has a proven tendency over the course of many previous festivals to talk like there’s no tomorrow, lose track of time, and arrive late if we’re not careful. Which of course is what happened last night even with the two-hour head start.

Dec 182017


Ekstrophë is the name of an album-length compilation by six black metal bands, some of whom haven’t been heard from in years and some of whom have created outstanding 2017 releases already: Devouring Star (Finland), Flagellant (Sweden), Arfsynd (Sweden), Ibex Angel Order (Netherlands), Dødsengel (Norway), and Chalice of Blood (Sweden). Each band has contributed one song to the album, and they are all tied together with ambient passages created by Norway’s Black Majesty and the Temple of Erythran Current.

Hints about this collaborative effort surfaced earlier in the year, but today we can provide details about its release through Terratur Possessions, as well as a full stream of all the music.

Nov 122017


Time once again to blacken the Sabbath. It was another savagely exciting week for the release of advance tracks from forthcoming albums, and five of those are in this post. I also had time to explore a few EPs and albums that came out recently, and I’ve included one of those here, too.

I nearly called this “Part 1”, because I have some other discoveries I’d like to recommend. I hope I’ll soon have time to write about those, too.


A new Taake album is always a welcome event, and the seventh one — Kong Vinter — will be released by Dark Essence on November 24. Last week Taake released the album track “Inntrenger“, which proved (to me at least) to be an interesting surprise. 

Feb 102017


When I first learned last October that the Finnish black metal band Devouring Star planned to discharge a new EP this year, it immediately vaulted into the upper reaches of my personal list of most anticipated 2017 releases. I wrote about the news then, but now I can share with you further details about the new EP — which is named Antihedron — and we also have the privilege of bringing you the premiere of one of its three powerful tracks, a song called “Angel of Null“.

Antihedron will be released by the band’s new label Dark Descent on March 24 and becomes available for pre-order today.

I haven’t been alone in my eagerness for this EP. Devouring Star’s debut album Through Lung and Heart was widely recognized as one of 2015’s highlights, and an especially striking achievement given that it was the band’s first full-length. With Antihedron, they have moved from strength to further strength.

Oct 122016



Yes, there are quite a lot of names in the headline of this post, but what follows isn’t quite as daunting as you might think. The first two items consist of news and art for forthcoming releases, but no music yet, and the last two items are just brief teasers of new music. In between I’ve sandwiched four full songs and videos, and I’m quite happy with what I’ve chosen, not only because the music is very good considered in isolation but also because collectively they make for a nice, varied playlist (and the two videos and album covers are quite eye-catching, too). At least it should be nice for people who have eclectic tastes. Here we go….


That’s a hell of a metal album cover up there, isn’t it? It was disclosed yesterday by Italy’s Hour of Penance and Prosthetic Records, who will release the band’s new album Cast the First Stone on January 27, 2017. The cover was created by Gyula Havancsak, whose work we’ve praised before in these pages.

The announcement was accompanied not only by a quote from our site (yay!) but also by the following statement from the band’s vocalist Paolo Pieri concerning the concept of the album, which revolves around the idea that “the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism do not justify the chain of hate that propagandizes the destruction of the West”:

Jan 222016

Devouring Star cover


Oh, this is a bad sign: I’ve let the entire week go by without a new installment in our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, yet I had promised myself I would finish the list by the end of January. Just too many other things going on, both with the blog and my own inconvenient life outside the blog.

Anyway, with renewed hopes that I can get back on a consistent track, here are two more entries — neither of them easy on the soul, neither of them exactly straight-forward toe-tappers, but both of them intense experiences, and the kind of music that seeps into your head like poison and comes back to haunt you.


This Finnish band produced one of the best album titles of 2015 — Through Lung and Heart — and it also brought us a fantastic piece of album art (by Manuel Tinnemans). For a debut full-length, it also made quite an immediate and striking impact.

Mar 162015


(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the month just ended.)

Here we go for round two of Essential Entries. You guessed it – we’re covering February this time. Yeah, yeah, suspense isn’t this guy’s strong point.

January gave us genius like Desolate Shrine and Agos, which is just what was needed to start things off right. How does February measure up? To quote one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, “Great Scott!” If you don’t get that, I bestow upon you great shame. But yeah, February did bring the noise (no Public Enemy included). Here’s the proof, in no particular order.

A Forest of StarsBeware the Sword You Cannot See

Self-described as a secret society from Victorian-era 1895, A Forest of Stars compose music that’s as intricate and unique as their theming. Black metal with a lot of psychedelic elements is the most basic description, but really, their music is so much more. It’s a continuing story, and their latest chapter is awe-inspiring. Invest the time, as there’s a lot of layers, with the payoff being oh so worth it.

Jan 232015


(In this post Austin Weber reviews the new release by Finland’s Devouring Star, which is available now from Daemon Worship.)

When I first wrote about Devouring Star here at NCS last year, they were a newly formed act who drew my attention with a incredibly dense and chilling demo of unnerving and chaotic black metal. After my first post about them, they hooked up with Daemon Worship Productions for the release of a new album entitled Through Lung And Heart. and we were fortunate to premiere the track “Decayed Son Of Earth” last November (here). Coincidentally, NCS writer Badwolf likewise premiered another track off it, “To Traverse The Black Flame”, over at Invisible Oranges where he is currently that site’s editor.

For those still unfamiliar with Devouring Star, they are a Finnish act that draw a sizable influence from the stylings and form of black metal that Deathspell Omega founded. However, I would venture to say the inspiration has more to do with informing the sonic ingredients that Devouring Star use in their compositions than sounding like a copycat act or watered-down hero worship.

Dec 242014


Rumor has it there’s some holiday tomorrow, with lots of talk about happy and jolly. I’m not feeling it myself. I’m more in the mood for head wreckage. I found these new songs over the last 24 hours that do the job nicely — music that’s full of power and passion, and no joy.


Last month we had the pleasure of premiering (here) a new song by a Finnish horde named Devouring Star from their forthcoming debut album Through Lung and Heart, on the Daemon Worship label. Since then two more songs from the album have been revealed, the latest one just this morning. Austin Weber described the song we premiered as “an apocalyptic ode to true worshipers of the dark arts, teeming with sourness and bitter pain and delivering a bludgeoning and a sense of horror comparable to few.” The new song is no less decimating.

“The Dreaming Tombs” is an unmitigated onslaught of percussive hammer blows, howling riffs, and wretched vocal extremity. The music swirls like a cyclonic vortex, broken in places by a massive doom-drenched stomps. It’s bleak, black, brutally ferocious music that very effectively creates an atmosphere of calamity and collapse.

Nov 102014


(In this post we’re helping to premiere a new song by Finland’s Devouring Star from their debut album, due for release by Daemon Worship Productions.  Austin Weber provides the introduction.)

Very recently here at NCS, I wrote about a Finnish black metal group called Devouring Star in my Recalcitrant Roundup series. Now that a small bit of time has passed, the band have found a label to call home — Daemon Worship Productions. In addition, through DWP they are on the cusp of releasing to the world a new five-song album, Through Lung And Heart. We and two other sites are giving you a first glimpse at this latest misanthropic offering through our premiere of one of the new songs — “Decayed Son of Earth”.

While Devouring Star may be said to generate a musical aura similar to that of Deathspell Omega, they do a lot to set themselves apart from mere hero worship. While most black metal hints at evil or masquerades as such, Devouring Star is the real, uglier-than-sin deal, with “Decayed Son Of Earth” serving as a carnal carnival of cataclysmic rage whose disgusting majesty cannot be ignored.

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